See you in 2019 Australia!

Our last week in Queensland was fun filled with a highlight of our trip a 5-hour whale watch adventure with my Dad and the kids out to the ocean right next to Moreton Island. It was such a beautiful day with the sun shining and the temperature was around 23 degrees – just perfect! I made a video using my new Nikon camera as I couldn’t capture the whale action as it was too slow and I am still a newbie with the settings. The video worked a treat as the lens can zoom in and out effortlessly.

The whale watch high-speed luxury catamaran was a dream on the water and the added bonus is getting a lovely lunch of salad and fresh prawns with fruit for dessert. We paid for coffee at $5 and water for $4 but I had a stash of snacks for the kids which was a good idea as they were hungry within seconds when they got on the boat. The views were just stunning and to see Moreton Island again in all its sandy glory bought back so many memories of camping over there and the big one spending Schoolies over there with my year 12 schoolmates.

I was on a mission to photograph the flying foxes for a friend of mine here in the States, she absolutely loves them on her Instagram feed and shows me the most beautiful pics of the little rescue foxes. This camp of foxes is found at the Redcliffe Botanic Gardens right across the road from my school friends house. I was in awe of how many there were and how active they are during the day – apparently, the males are super frisky all the time and harassing the females when they are trying to rest! I was pretty excited to get some cute pics too of these little fellas who are a keystone protected species in Australia as they are pollinators of the native flora.

Plus the lunar eclipse was happening the morning we were leaving so we did not get up to see it, my camera caught some close-ups of the moon before the cloud came in. The backyard had the grevilleas in bloom and the honeyeaters and lorikeets visited every day. Each week we kept our Taco Tuesday tradition going until we left the country Saturday morning.

And my friend M came to visit, we spent a lot of time together in our 20s and had a blast at all the clubs dancing away. Now we just catch up and drink fancy lattes. I enjoyed a matcha latte and M enjoyed the beet latte. The lunch I had at Soul Harvest Wholefoods was divine with 3 salads and a vegan pumpkin coconut pattie with a mango chutney – such a wholesome feast for lunch.

Soon came time for our last walk along the beach, we cherished our time together taking in the sights and feeling the fresh air and watching the water gently roll onto the sand. I did not realise how lucky I was to grow up with such a beautiful environment close by.

IMG_3851

Then as we flew off on a 27-degree day it was time to go back on the 13-hour journey back to San Francisco. We nearly missed the plane due to logistics with the Sydney airport bus transfer and then security finding some water in my daughter’s backpack so I had to stand there and drink it. Mind you by now I was busting to go to the toilet! Anyway, we finally got through the drama and made it to the flight QF73 and there we were on the plane about to have lunch. The time passed quickly as I caught up on my readings for University and watched a couple of films and my husband’s recommendation Search Party which was fine to pass the time. Secretly I was wanting to miss the plane and stay in Australia, I was not ready to come back to California. Now I am back it is OK as I have a lot of studies to catch up on to keep me busy and out of pining for Melbourne and to be back with my family. Until we move back – know that we love you and miss you. The countdown begins with around 10 months to go!!

A piece a Week – All day Summer Camp = Super productive sewing space! Oh and we saw Whales!!!!!!

Last week was a fantasy week and it was so worth having the kids in a full day camp, it really makes you realise how valuable time alone to create is! I had a list of many projects that I had to start or even complete. Now it does feel so good to have a sense of organisation of how I am going to attempt to stock my booth for the FabMo Textile Art Boutique in October. Time for experimentation when designing is a rare thing in the “mum’s world” of bite size time blocks so I have to just make what I know and make it well. So last week allowed me some time to play and experiment a bit more with the fabrics in my stash and ideas in my journal.

I came out with 6 tote bags in process and a quilted feather applique – it looks more like an arrow so I added it to a tote it it came out well. I also had a play around with the digital programs that I used as a designer back in the day so I made up some art prints and tees on Society 6 and Redbubble. The fun thing is that I downloaded a copy of Adobe Illustrator for a 30 day trial and it is so much fun to play with it rather than use it as a work tool. But for efficiency of time, the work shortcuts came in handy to create the pieces I wanted to make. I was introduced to Society 6 by a friend who had scored this really cool pillow on etsy so I thought there is time for some photography so I wanted make it happen with some of my pictures! I like having a presence in both the digital art world as well as the textile arts.

A bag I with my yarn cat design
Pieces to check out on Society 6

Still after I had completed the photography / graphic art project, it was time to move to the more tactile arts and my textile pieces. The quilting experiment was a quilted feather from a quilt design – I did see it on a skirt which looked very cool arranged vertically on the hem. Still with experimenting it is important to play to see how it will turn out. And as it did it was a huge feather. Still a couple of ideas came through that are in production this week! The pieces I did complete last week were a couple of bags quilting different colours together of the same fabric and the other was a floral fabric I found that needed to show off the flowers. Here are the finished pieces – I still have another 4 to complete, hopefully this week??

Beautiful big tulip with a gorgeous green background

The reverse of the bag with a different background

Super shiny disco design using strips of the same fabric
After the week was out we celebrated down the park with a lovely bottle of Malbec from Argentina – there has been some really good wine coming out of Argentina that we have scored and I even think I had some at our wedding. Ahh a good glass of wine on a cool summer evening with your friends on a picnic while the kids are playing, that was heavenly…

On Saturday we went whale watching to Moss Landing with Blue Ocean Whale Watch. How can I imagine that the first time we go whale watching we see whales feeding, playing and breaching just a short distance away from the harbor. We were in a 60 foot boat cruising along and there were the whales – so graceful and elegant. That tail of theirs gently curling through the surface of the water beneath. They are wonderful to watch and it is truly an experience that will live forever in my memory. After the whales had fed and were not showing off as much, we went over into the deep water and saw so many dolphins swimming and playing around with sea lions. It was so special to see dolphins in their natural environment happily playing with the boat and enjoying the interaction with the people – they are such happy creatures. We saw such an abundance of sea creatures from the sea otter and sea lion in the harbor to the whales and then the dolphins. The ocean really is a mysterious place that we have to respect and I think experiencing how fragile the ocean can be with over fishing and pollution. This tour made me realise that we really need to respect the beings that live in it and do whatever we can to preserve this very special place. I made this video of the footage I took that day – I did not take my camera as the operator takes amazing pics and sells them on her site, easy just go for a boat ride and watch the whales!

One of Kate’s amazing pictures on her website – how amazing is this picture!!